Two parents arranging a date for their respective children at the Shanghai Matchmaking Expo. The gender imbalance—which is partly thanks to the recently relaxed single-child policy—stacks up to 1. This is a concern for the government, which, for the past few years, has been helping to fund enormous nonprofit matchmaking conventions in Shanghai to inject some orchestrated passion into its young population. The dry spell is of even more concern to the parents of this generation, whose top priority is usually to help create a happy family nucleus for what is normally their only child. A big personality with strong government ties, she explained how these events—there have been five since , clocking up around , visitors overall—were largely driven by the demands of parents rather than love-hungry twentysomethings. But we do not want this event to be only for the parents, so we separate them from the young people by setting up this room.
It was a major World Expo registered by the Bureau International des Expositions BIE , in the tradition of international fairs and expositions, the first since It had the largest number of countries participating and was the most expensive Expo in the history of the world's fairs. By the end of the expo, over 73 million people had visited — a record attendance — and countries and international organizations had participated. Shanghai has been one of the main cities envisioned to host the expos for some time. Many scholars have written about the possibility and made suggestions in books.
In Shanghai, where singles are aplenty and birth rates are low, parents have taken to matchmaking expos to find their kids a lover. New this year, the expo added a room dedicated to parents worried about their kids' single status, according to a government website about the event. They can even go on mini-dates with other parents to see how their kids will vibe. In the main part of the expo, singles themselves are encouraged to mingle, shyly talking at group tables or one-on-one, speed dating-style.
Liu Zhixi is the CEO of Exoatlet China, and his company's medical exoskeleton is designed to help wheelchair-users learn to walk again. Liu told CGTN that he believes the expo will allow his company to contact more professional buyers, dealers and doctors at the same time. There is no better platform for his products. Many new exhibitors are eager to attend the matchmaking meetings, and try to impress more professional buyers.